Raven Monk Debuts Short Film

The famous Benedictine phrase is Ora et Labora — prayer and work — but what it means is that work becomes prayer.

That is the message of the beautifully shot, austere short film The Paschal Candle that St. Benedict’s Abbey debuted April 22 featuring the voice of Father Meinrad Miller singing The Exsultet, the proclamation of Easter from the Easter vigil.

The film, and the candle that is its subject, is the work of Brother Karel Soukup is a monk at St. Benedict’s Abbey and a part-time art student at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

He made his first vows in 2014, but had entered several years earlier. “I entered the novitiate here in 2007 with Br. Leven, and was here for a year before I went to study in a diocesan seminary for a while,” he said.

In the Abbey, Brother Karel’s main job is being an artisan. He creates what is needed from candle stands to paintings to binding books, including the Gospel book used at all the Abbey Masses that sits on the altar. He also decorates the Paschal Candle each year.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.